, , , , , , , , , , ,

"My girlfriend and I have had a rough year of long distance relationship arguing and making up. Now I’m back home for the summer, and things are better. However, I know when school starts so will the long distance problems. I wanted to wait till the end of summer to break up and stay friends but I made the mistake of mentioning it to her and she decided we should break up now and stay friends. What can I do to make this summer not awkward?”

- Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Gabifresh as a part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions

Gabi Says:

I speak from first hand experience when I say long distance relationships are HARD work, and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out if you’re just arguing with your significant other because you miss each other so much, or if there are deeper issues that need to be addressed. That said, the breakup-makeup cycle is a hard one to break, and usually indicates there may be some unhealthy things going on in your relaysh.

It sounds like you know that you want to end things for good, and if you’re sure that’s the case—which is totally valid—your girlfriend is right about doing it now. There’s no need to drag things out! Staying with someone with the intention of breaking up later puts a damper on the entire relationship, and it will only make things more confusing for both of you. It also has the potential to lead to more fights, which means things could end on a really bad note instead of the seemingly clean break you can make now. The fact that your girlfriend is aware of all of this and seems cool with staying friends is even more of a reason to bite the bullet and end things soon—I think you’ll have a much better chance of keeping her in your life that way. I know this is short, but sometimes the best answer is the most simple. Good luck!

***

Click through to read more about Gabifresh and our other Second Opinions panelists!

Everyone Is Gay has started a new project to help parents who have LGBTQ kids: Check out The Parents Project!

share:

, , , , , , , , , ,

“I tend to base my self worth off of recognition and awards, etc. It’s been alright so far, since I have always done relatively well, but I didn’t even place at the most recent writing competition I was involved in, and I’m feeling real crappy. This is probs not healthy. HOW DO I STAHP?”

- Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Gabifresh as a part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions

Gabi Says:

I can definitely relate to this! I’ve had issues with perfectionism and external validation in the past, and it can be a hard habit to break. You’re right though, it’s totally not healthy, so I have a few suggestions for getting past it.

1) Realize rejection/failure is a good thing

I know this is totally cliché, but that’s because it’s true. Failing at something you love is NOT a bad thing, even though it feels like it. This has taken me a really long time to accept, but not being the best at something not only teaches us humility, but also inspires us to improve. Every single person who has done something awesome has failed at some point, from to Michael Jordan being cut from the varsity basketball team to Steve Jobs being fired from the very company he built. How you respond to that failure is really what determines your success; are you going to let it get you down? Quit? Or find ways to bounce back and make yourself better?

 

2) Focus on the work and not the outcome

One thing I did in college was avoid classes I really wanted to take if I wasn’t 100% sure I would get an A. Crazy, right? It’s seriously one of my biggest life regrets. I was always really into creative writing, but I was afraid of not being the best in the class or that I’d get a grade that would lower my GPA, so I didn’t take it at all. I was totally missing out on life experiences and learning new things for a really silly reason! By focusing on having fun and improving your writing instead of what accolade or award you’ll receive from it, you’ll get back to actually enjoying the writing process. One way to get to this point is by taking a class or joining a club where there are no grades or awards involved. I was still passionate about creative writing after college, so I found a screenwriting class with no grading system. When there was no pressure to get the A, I was able to enjoy the class and focus on learning and giving/receiving constructive criticism.

 

3) Acknowledge that awards are subjective

I don’t expect you to stop submitting your work to writing competitions altogether! In fact, it’s often just a numbers game. The more things you submit to, the more chance you have at being published or winning one of the many awards out there. But at the end of the day, remember that award recipients are usually chosen by a subjective group of people who may not dig your stuff for whatever reason. That doesn’t mean your work isn’t good or valuable. I’m sure you know how many amazingly talented artists lived their ENTIRE lives without recognition. Imagine how many musicians there are out there right now who are awesome but never get signed to a record label or are never up for a Grammy. It doesn’t invalidate their talent, you know? Keep working hard, getting better, and have a solid group of creative friends to support (and critique!) your work. Good luck!

share:

, , , , , , , , ,

"Do you have any advice on how to deal with low self-esteem? I’m really self conscious about some of my facial features- how do I move on from this? I know of a lot of people who have unique features, but they’re confident and love themselves, and because of this and their personalities I consider them to be beautiful."

- Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Gabifresh as part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions

Gabi Says:

First off, I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. Having low self-esteem is tough, and can be detrimental when it starts affecting other areas of your life. The good news is that you are self-aware enough to realize it’s a problem and that you recognize looks aren’t everything. You hit the nail on the head when you said that confidence makes a huge difference in how people view you, so working on how you view yourself is what’s important—not whatever feature is currently bothering you. I have a couple pieces of advice.

1) One thing I always tell people is to make sure you’re choosing your media consciously. You’re reading Everyone is Gay, so you’re doing a good job already incorporating positive media into your life, but be careful of any TV/magazines you may be into that have judgmental undertones about celeb’s looks (reality TV/tabloids are probably the worst). I get that it’s hard—almost all pop culture references celeb’s looks in some way, and some of it we can’t avoid, but making a concerted effort to limit your intake and replace it with cool blogs or web series can truly have a positive and concrete effect on how you see yourself.

2) Try to cut out the negative self-talk. When you catch yourself saying or thinking something not so nice about yourself, force yourself to stop mid-sentence, and change it into something you like. For example, “I hate my crooked teeth” could turn into “I like my green eyes.” I know it sounds kind of cheesy and self-helpy, but it actually works over time!

3) What are your passions? What do you want to do in life? Focusing on your talent and skills is a great way to realize that you’re more than just your looks, and getting better at whatever it is that you want to do is a really satisfying feeling. Also, think about your life idols and what you admire in them. For example, I’ve been sort of freaking out about aging lately, and I make myself remember how much I admire women like Meryl Streep and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. They’ve aged so gracefully because they’re strong, smart ladies with immense talent who are valued in their field. Their looks almost never come up because they are so well-respected for their other qualities. This helps remind me to focus on what I want to accomplish and be known for instead of the lines under my eyes or whatever.

If you’ve tried these things for a while and aren’t seeing improvement, I definitely suggest talking to a therapist. There are lots who specialize in body image/self-esteem. Good luck, friend!

***

Click through to read more about Gabi and our other Second Opinions panelists!

share: